In 1900, Florida had 530,000 residents. We are now close to 22 million and that number grows by almost 1,000 per day. New residents mean new developments and conversion of what was once forest, field or agriculture to pavement, rooftops, and expanding roadways. For our wildlife, this is an ongoing threat as critical habitat is lost and roadkill increases. For ourselves, natural lands increase our quality of life.
With the support of FWF, the State of Florida has acted to save our natural lands for many years. The Environmentally Endangered Lands program commenced in the 1980s. Later came Preservation 2000 and we now have the Florida Forever program. Florida Forever uses state funding to purchase, from willing sellers, either the land outright or a perpetual conservation easement to disallow development and keep the land in private ownership. Approximately 2.5 million acres have been saved in Florida by Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever.